The US Navy (USN) is testing an augmented reality (AR) capability to improve gunfire commands between shipboard gunners and gunfire liaison officers.
The service's Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) Systems Center Pacific (SSC Pacific) in San Diego, California, has demonstrated the Gunner Augmented Reality (GunnAR) aboard the guided missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG-52) and will be conducting another event in September at Citadel Protect, a USN event focusing on command, control, and communications for missions requiring a co-ordinated response from ashore and afloat units in response to waterborne improvised explosive devices (IED) and land-based threats.
The September event in San Diego will be used to examine whether GunnAR is applicable for that scenario, Garrison Price, a scientist/engineer at SSC Pacific demos shipboard AR gunnery capability , told Jane's .
The live-fire demonstration aboard Bunker Hill was to determine if the system could be used under shipboard conditions, he added. Sailors manning the .50-calibre heavy machine guns (HMGs) wore the GunnAR headset, which also featured a video camera that captured what they saw.
"We set up a system with one of the .50-calibre mounts and did a live-fire shoot," Price said. "We got a lot of really good feedback and the test was very successful. Right now, we are just trying to iterate for the next demonstration."
The objective of the effort is to eliminate the confusion that could occur when a Naval Gunfire Liaison Officer (NGLO) is issuing fire orders to the various gunners.
NGLOs presently employ radio commands to direct gunners. However, orders may be misheard as these personnel are typically working in a noisy environment, Price noted.
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